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Quality Health Care and You - Diabetes

Low Blood Sugar and High Triglyceride

03/10/2009

Question:

I have triglyceride-3.5 mmol and a blood sugar-less than 3mmol and thyroid 5.1mmol. I have read that to reduce triglyceride levels, one must reduce carbohydrate intake, including sugars, but this is not suitable for me as I have low blood sugar. Please help me by telling how I can reduce my triglyceride levels while balancing my blood sugar.

Answer:

For anyone, it is good to moderate the amount of carbohydrate they have in a day. This means to aim for 30-60g (depending on gender, need for weight loss, activity level etc) of carbohydrate per meal and possibily 15g for a snack if necessary. Often people eat much more than this on a daily basis and often it is high in simple sugars (regular pop, sweets etc). This is what can lead to high triglycerides.

A diet high in simple sugars can also contribute to your low blood sugars. When you eat a very high sugar or carbohyrate food, your body releases too much insulin which drives your blood sugar down within an hour or two after you eat.

To help prevent these low blood sugars, balance each meal with some carbohydrate (whole grains, bread, pasta, rice, fruit), protein (lean meat, cheese, egg, peanut butter), vegetable, and fat (olive or canola oil). This nice balance of nutritients will help to keep your blood sugars more level and may help to lower your triglyceride. You can do some reseach on the Mediterreanean diet as this has also been shown to have positive effects of triglyceride levels.

Also, being physically active can help reduce triglyceride as can reducing alcohol intake. In order to better advise you about your risk for coronary artery disease and diabetes, more information in needed. Talk to your doctor about what your cholesterol, HDL and LDL levels are and ask for a referral to see a dietitian to discuss specific nutrition goals. The goals for cholesterol levels are as follows:

For more information:

Go to the Quality Health Care and You - Diabetes health topic, where you can:

Response by:

Connie A Gottfried, MPH, RD, LD, CDE Connie A Gottfried, MPH, RD, LD, CDE
Formerly
Case Western Reserve University